The Final Friday with Means
At this point in time I am the longest sitting Game Director Anarchy Online has ever had. It is time for a change. At the end of December I will be leaving Anarchy Online to pursue another challenge and be closer to my children's grandparents in Sweden.
On March 29th, 2004 I stepped into the Funcom offices and began my first work as a content designer with Anarchy Online. I remember one of my first tasks was to playtest Crypt of Home before it was released to the live servers. Despite what Cerubin did to me and my group of other new employees I figured I was the luckiest guy in the world and had found the best job ever. I was right. The new group of designers were asked to request which project and position they would be interested in working on and I was the only one who got my request and I was delighted to be the new Monster Designer for Anarchy Online...delighted until I realized that we were launching Alien Invasion in a few short months. I couldn't believe the hours I put in getting the monsters for that expansion to work and I also couldn't believe I was loving every minute of it. I couldn't even begin to mention all the great stuff I was lucky enough to get to work on while I was here...not to mention all the amazing people. Amazingly enough it feels like it was yesterday.
During my 8 years at Funcom I have never woken up in the morning and not wanted to go to the office. I worked myself right into the hospital before the release of Legacy of the Xan. At the end of the day that we filmed the promo for LoX I wasn't able to stand and had to be taken to the hospital by my good friend Craig Morrison..and as soon as I could stand again I was right back the next day. Our online world provided infinite challenge and unending variety every day...it is simply not possible for one person to learn it all. Some surprises were good...and some were definitely bad. From the massive piles of player bodies covering the ground outside the Biodomes to being flat on my back on the floor with both hands on my face while we rolled back the servers at 3am...none are moments I would trade for anything. The experience has been an all consuming passion for me for what feels like a lifetime. My first son crawled for the first time beside my desk in the Oslo office where he spent at least 3 hours with me every day for the first 6 months of his life. When I look at The passion this team and the community has for Anarchy Online it has always made me feel privileged just to get to be a part of it. It has been an incredible honor to get to spend the last 8 years working with Anarchy Online and being a part of the Funcom family.
Looking to the future of the game things could not be better. Holding the dual role of Producer/Game Director for Anarchy Online always made me feel stretched and it was definitely unwieldy to manage the business and creative ends of the project at the same time. Going forward into the future these roles will again be filled by two people to make sure each area gets the attention it needs and deserves.
Filling the role of Producer is Dave "Ilaliya" Williams. Dave has been management at three different game companies and has lead the systems teams for both Age of Conan and most recently The Secret World. I know we can count on Dave to keep the project running smoothly and bring his systems experience to the team whenever we might need it. I am very grateful to Dave for coming to AO to help us get things done right.
Taking up the helm as the new Game Director is Fia "Lindelu" Tjernberg who has been with the team since before the release of the Legacy of the Xan booster pack. Fia has been a driving force helping the team deliver amazing things for the last few years and I can't wait to see what she manages to put together going into the future. I'm certain she will keep you up to date with updates of her own that I can't wait to read. So many things are getting close to completion..this is going to be a very exciting year.
Both these individuals are incredible assets to the project and will no doubt manage a bright future for all of us who love Anarchy Online. Like everyone else who has ever moved on from the team...if they ever need anything from me, big or small, all they have to do is ask. Thank you again to everyone for the never ending support and ecouragement that has made my time with Anarchy Online and Funcom such an amazing experience.
Waldgeist edit: German Translation